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Derek Twigg, MP for Halton

Working Hard for Widnes, Runcorn & Hale

Derek condemns Government inaction on poor local unemployment figures

23 Jul 2012

Derek has criticised the Government's economic policies which have seen joblessness in Halton worsen compared with last year, as ministerial inaction flies in the face of the latest worrying unemployment figures.

Data from the independent House of Commons Library reveals that 3,246 people in the Halton constituency are unemployed claimants - placing Halton in the highest sixth of constituencies for claimant counts from across the entire UK.  There were more than 200 additional claimants than in June 2011 - a 6.8% increase on last year, and a staggering 97.4% rise in the rate since June 2007.

Last month's figures point to a disturbing rate of almost 8% of the economically active local population aged 16-64 without work, and the number of local long-term unemployed has also seen a sharp increase, with a further 500 people having claimed Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in June for at least 12 months prior.

Commenting on the figures, Derek said:

"The latest unemployment figures unfortunately confirm what we already knew - that the harsh austerity cuts of the Tory-led Government are hurting but they aren't working - choking off growth and leading to high levels of unemployment in Halton.

Government policies are trapping many families in Halton, and a sizeable proportion of our young people, in unemployment and long-term joblessness when they are already struggling to make ends meet in this difficult economic climate.  This is condemning many to a life on the dole, and is a terrible waste of talent which has an adverse impact on many peoples' life chances.

They're even failing on the deficit - because with the economy pushed into recession and more people out of work claiming benefits rather than paying taxes, ministers are borrowing £150 billion more than they planned.

David Cameron and George Osborne promised change and they promised to secure the recovery, but their failed policies have delivered a double-dip recession made in Downing Street.  Families and businesses are paying the price for their mistakes with prices rising faster than wages, firms going bust and long-term unemployment at a 17-year high.

The Tory-led Government said we were all in this together, but their unfair Budget has given a tax cut to millionaires while making millions of families and pensioners pay more.  Britain needs a change of direction and I'm calling on ministers to reverse the failed Tory economic plan and urgently put in place Labour's plan for jobs and growth including a bankers' bonus tax to fun jobs for young people."

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